Tom Gilson

The National Briefing On Religious Freedom

I'm sitting now at the National Briefing on Religious Freedom, at Truth for a New Generation in Charlotte. On the stage, unfortunately difficult for you to see in this light (and with my iPad camera photo), are Eric Teetsel of the Manhattan Declaration, John Stonestreet of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Fr. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute, Jennifer Marshall from the Heritage Foundation, and Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School, moderated by Lauren Green of Fox News.

Topics:

  • inconsistency of application of federal law
  • We are not theocrats
  • But we can legitimately bring our beliefs into the conversation
  • Working together.
  • Religious freedom is not identical with freedom of worship: religious freedom means the freedom to express our religion in the institutions we build: church, home, business, etc.
  • Much of the attack on religious freedom (HHS abortion mandate, requirement for some businesses to support same-sex “marriage”) is sexually oriented.
  • Our culture is turning toward defining selves sexually, which is far from a complete picture of who a person is.
  • Tocqueville: when morality weakens government strengthens (and by extension, liberty weakens)
  • We can't give Bibles to children but we can hand out condoms without parental notice.
  • Marriage is a pre-political institution: government cannot create it or its definition.
  • “Gay” is a proclivity, not an identity.

All of this bears on religious freedom in ways I can't keep up with as I blog it onsite. The event is still underway, but I want to encourage you to go to www.afa.net, where (if I'm not mistaken) you can watch it with me on a live stream.

 

1 thought on “The National Briefing On Religious Freedom

  1. One of your points was: “We can’t give Bibles to children but we can hand out condoms without parental notice.” Please be more careful and precise. If you just state it baldly like that, it sounds like you’re ignorant of the law. And that would completely undermine what you’re trying to do. So please – just be more precise.

    You can hand out Bibles to children! Of course you can. Just not as a institution in schools.

    You can hand out Bibles as an institution on the street corner. Also, other children can hand out Bibles in school at their own initiative. Suppose they saved up their allowance month by month and bought some cheap Bibles for their friends – that’s perfectly legal.

    I’m sure you know this, and all those people on stage must certainly know this, since they’re giving this program on religious freedom. So all you have to do is be more careful and precise in your language. That would avoid so much misunderstanding.

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